Organized labor unions and politics

Organized labor unions often take part in assisting political campaigns during presidential campaign years. Often they do not favor strictly one political party but rather a pro-worker candidate who they think will best favor a political stance that promotes workers' rights and the role of the labor union in working America. Often, this stance causes the unions in the US to move together and organize in a movement called the Change to Win coalition, which was active throughout the country during the recent 2008 presidential campaign. How do labor unions help politics?

Labor unions often donate a large amount of time and money to support the candidates they have chosen. They will often use some of their own employees as a small independent group to help join the candidate's campaign and send them out on assignment to help campaign with other volunteers.

These people are getting paid their regular wages, but instead of their regular job duties they are calling people, knocking on doors, and distributing campaign literature. They might even help out at rallies and recruit other volunteers.

In addition to putting people in motion, they stage rallies of their own in addition to the campaign to make people aware of campaign issues and they also circulate literature to their own employees, either through the mail, via email, or through worksite visits. Unions create their own small, mobilized army of voices in support of the candidates they think will best help them and working America.

While it is not easy to get involved in one of these paid campaign jobs, if you are already a member of a labor union it is something to keep in mind when the next election year comes around. Some unions are more forceful and do more work than others, but all have some degree of involvement in the political arena. Each union typically has a political director who selects the people that are taken out on assignment for this kind of work. Contacting either the political director or the union president and letting them know that you are interested in helping is a great start towards getting involved.

There often is a short list of people they have considered to be excellent, vocal workers who could be assets to the campaign. Letting them know you are interested may not get you on that list for the entire project, but may for at least some of it. They often have a limited number of positions available and they select them early.